I set a pullup PR today. 16... count 'em 16 pullups! Hot damn, I love pullup PRs.
Funny thing was, other than that, it was sort of a lame workout. I felt off... But I'll take the PR anyway.
My diet has been awesome lately, for a change. I went through about a two month phase where I was sort of letting myself eat ****. I pulled it together sort of at the beginning of the year, but in the last week or so I've kicked it up another notch. It feels good, although I still want ice-cream damnit
Okay... I haven't been on here in like... forever...
I kind of gave up after a month or so of having trouble using this website. It just seemed to crash, be slow, or lose my posts. But today the mood struck me, so I thought I'd give it a try again.
So how y'all been?
Me? Well I took it very easy for most of November because my back was bad, but things are a lot better these days. Still doing my cross-fit like workouts (not exactly cross-fit, but close). Still lifting (I'm off most of my peaks but not by much.) I've been taking sporadic lessons on how to do Olympic lifts which is fun.
I'm working hard on my diet as always.
I repeat my 15 pullup PR today. God I wanted 16, but I was happy just to have a repeat. This new pullup plan is WORKING people!
Legs have been a little weak these days. It's hard to not drop one thing when you are focusing so hard on another. I've been running about 5-10 miles a week, though, and that's taking up some of the slack.
I wasn't even thinking of trying for this PR today, but it just happened! I am so freaking happy I might burst. I've had a long-term goal of 15 pullups, since... I guess since the dawn of time. And today I made it.
I had gotten 14 a few weeks ago... and gotten 12-13 since then... but today, I was feeling pretty tired and frazzled from work pressures... and I figured I'd get 12 and be happy. Nothing too fancy. But around 10 or so, I thought... jeez... these are feeling pretty easy today. I hit 13, and started to get excited. I got 14... and then I decided... I was doing 15 frigging pullups if it killed me... and it almost did.
But I did it. 15 pullups. Hot damn, folks.
I don't even know exactly how long ago I set my 13-rep pullup PR. 2 years? 3 years?
Well I don't have to remember anymore! Today I cranked out 14 pullups! Finally. I feel almost giddy.
Man, my arms hurt.
I am on a mission. My mission is to break my PR of 13 pullups. Now, I'm a tall, heavy guy (205-210 lbs) and I have a small build so pullups are a real challenge for me. I set my PR of 13 two years ago. In the past year I've been fluctuating between 10-12 pullups depending on how I'm feeling that day, etc. But the call of the pullup PR is strong. For some reason, I have always had pullups in my mind as the ultimate measure of physical fitness.
So... Recently, I started a new program of pullups with the goal of doing 15 pullups. The plan is to do them twice a week. One of the days (the test day) is 3 sets for as many reps as I can do each set. The second day (the volume day) is, gulp, ten sets of X, where X is whatever I think I can finish all ten sets with. These are supersetted with squats and push-ups.
I have done 2 and a half weeks of this program so far, and it is working, I can tell already. I tied my 13 rep PR last test day, which hasn't happened in a long while. Yesterday was a volume day, and I did 67 pullups (I actually cheated and did 12 sets, but only the first nine or so were the requisite 6 reps.)
Whew, my arms are sore! 15 pullups or bust, baby.
Is it just me ??? I spend forever each time I want to add an entry here figuring out how to do it. It has gotten WAY more confusing than it used to be.
Today was a quick (45 minutes) chest day at the gym. Good but quick. Nothing special to report.
I feel weaker but more fit (if that makes any sense) than a year ago. What I mean is: My lifts are lighter, but my BF, my flexibility, cardo-vascual abilities, and overall fitness balance seem stronger. CrossFit (like anything) has it's strengths and weaknessess. Finding the balance is key, I supose. If I ever figure out how to do that, I'll be sure to let you in on the secret...
So yesterday I ditched work a little early to make the CrossFit class by 5. Actually it's not an "official" CrossFit class, so they can't actually use that name, but for all intents and purposes that is what it is... I thought I'd share what we did yesterday, to give you an idea of what the workouts are like:
After warm up, we started with 5 stations:
- Kettle bell swings (I did 35 lbs)
- Push and Press (65 lbs.) - This is like an OH press with a little kip with the legs.
- 18 lbs Medicine Ball Squats
- Box Jumps
- Tire Flips - Flipping a farm tire (about 200 lbs I'd guess)
Each station we'd do for a minute and then ten seconds to get to the next station. We did the whole cycle four times. I was a ball of sweat at the end. By far the hardest for me was the push and press. By the end I couldn't do the whole minute. I would do like 5 reps, take a break, do 4 more, etc.
Next we did sled rope pulls. A sled was loaded with weight. We got into a plank position, and with one arm pulled the sled until it got to us. Then we ran the rope back to the other side and did five burpees. Repeat the whole cycle four times.
Next we had wheelbarrows runs. I sat in the wheelbarrow while my parter lifted me and ran down about 300 yards. We turned around and switched positions. Repeat 3 times. This was actually fairly easy.
Then we did a run with rubber bands. One guy has the band strapped to his waist. The other holds the other end and provides resistance. The first guy starts running fast, while the other guy holds him back. Repeat three times. (This is pretty fun.)
Finally we did plank jumps. Everyone gets into plank position in a line. The guy on the end gets up, jumps over each person one by one and then gets into plank position on the other end. The next person goes, etc. This was fun and brutal.
That was yesterday's workout. It was good, but my back is a little sore today!
It's been a long time since I updated. Workouts have been sporadic since I've been traveling a long for work (can you say Hotel workout?) but I'm still hitting the cross-fit stuff pretty hard. Frankly I've lost a little strength (by bench, for example, has fallen from 225 x 5 to about 205 x 5-6) which is a bit depressing, but my cariovascular fittness and flexibility have dramatically improved.
My diet has been less that ideal since I was traveling so much. (It is SO damn hard to eat healthy on the road). But that said, I still ate pretty well.
Not much else to report. Keep cranking friends.
I doing CrossFit twice a week now, and I kind of love it. It's very social which I was surprised that I enjoy. I mean normally, I just go do my thing and keep to myself. But maybe the difference is that these people are all crazy. And I mean that in a good way.
Yesterday, we did the "prowler" which was a sled push activity. Holy cow that was hard and incredibly fun.
It's fun just to shake thing up a little, you know?
Well I've friendly with a bunch of crossfit people, and they dragged me out again this Sunday for a run. Last Sunday, they had me run like 5 miles which is the longest I've run in years and years.
This Sunday... I ran... 11 miles...
The amazing thing is my foot doesn't hurt too badly. I have a nasty foot injury that's bugged me for years... Don't get me wrong. It hurts today, but I thought it would be killing me. I have OTHER things that are killing me. My calves barely work today, for example. And I have other muscles that hurt that I didn't know existed.
11 miles. If you had told me Sunday morning I was going to run 11 miles, I would have laughed in your face... I had no idea we were going that far. But I made it. I was slow (I came in last) but I finished.
These crossfit people are... crazy. And I mean that in the best possible way.
A gymrat friend dragged me to a CrossFit class last week. He said, "at the end of the workout, you can look around at everyone in this gym and say, 'No one here workedout harder than I did.'". And he was right. Whew what a workout.
I did a second class on Wednesday. I was sore enough after that one that I took yesterday off completely. (Well that and because I had a hell of a bout of insomnia the night before...) There's another class tonight, but I don't think I can make it because of a family commitment. So instead I'll just do a regular old wimpy leg day. (Now that gives you an idea of how hard the class is... if leg day is wimpier...)
Last night's class was a lot of fun. One of the things we did was tire-flips. There were two groups of people, each with a giant farm tire. There were five people in my group (all women except for me... I have no complaints!). Two girls together filpped a tire, then the next two girls, then me alone, etc. And it was a race with the other team. What a blast!
I normally don't workout legs at lunch, but if I didn't do that today, I wouldn't get to them until Sunday because of a family trip (alas, to a funeral) this weekend. So, I hit the wheels quick and dirty today. I was pleased... it was actually a pretty decent workout.
There were steps ups, one-legged squats, calf-raises, hack-squats, leg-extensions, and leg-curls, all in quick succession with very little rest. My legs hurt in the best possible way...
Leg day is the only day I dread. I love working chest and arms and back. Cardio is bearable, although tedious. But leg day... leg day... how I dread thee. Until you are done. Then I love you.
My legs are actually improving. About a year ago, they peaked, and I could really see some good quad separation. That faded when I quit squatting heavy due to my back issues, but it's starting to come back a bit. I think it's the combination of the one-legged squats (which are wonderfully brutal) and the stair-mill cardio workouts I've been doing over the last several months.
I haven't taken a picture for this site in FOREVER. I think it's time. I've been pretty pleased with my results lately. I've gained some weight (which is always a struggle for me). I'm currently around 209 lbs and probably around 14% BF. 14% is too high, since I'm dying to have real abs, but I can't seem to gain weight if I'm much less than that.
I've decided I want to kick it up to the next level this year. I'm pretty good with my workouts (although I need to do a little more cardio) and my diet is pretty strong, although not perfect. One place I haven't really concentrated on is nutrient timing and (believe it or not given the site we're all reading) supplementation.
Sure, I have my protein powder and I take a joint supplement in the morning, but that's about it. I think I need to focus on pre- and post- workout nutrition a little more. Any tips?
Things are going pretty good in the gym these days. Here are the things that I'm feeling pumped about (in no particular order):
- I hit 13 pullups two days ago, which is tied for my PR. Even better, I almost had 14. I've been down in the 11-12 range for forever. If I get 14 I will be through the moon...
- I've ramped down the weight on the bench lately and upped the reps, with good results. My last workout was 195 x 10, 210 x 7, 225 x 3, 155 x 10 and I felt very nicely pumped afterwards. I won't do this plan for forever, but it's felling pretty good right now. I think an assault on 250 is in order soon...
- I've been upping my cardio lately. Honestly I've been pretty lazy about cardio over the last 6 months, but I'm getting it done these days. That stair mill is a killer...
- My back is doing a lot better. Stretching my hip flexors religiously has really helped. I'm still taking it easy on the squats (Nothing over 200 lbs) but I'm happy to be squatting at all.
Anyway. I'm happy.
Well I don't seem to be updating on here too often, but I am still cranking at the gym. (I should update more... I like updating... it keeps me honest... and I miss my BS friends...)
Last night was back and bis day and it was a good, strong workout. I was happy. Still struggling with the pullups though... I've been working on them for YEARS... and still haven't broken 13! They are definitely back-limited and not arm-limited. In fact, one of my gym-rat friends said he noticed my arms were getting huge, and I have to agree... I think it's time to measure again... and post pictures... woohoo!
I've spent many months on low-rep, high-weight (well high weight for me...) chest work. I decided to take a month and do the opposite... My elbows need a rest, and I think shaking things up will give me some gains. I've been stuck at 225 lbs x 4-5 for a long time. I've done 2 workouts with the new approach, and I've gotten a really nice "pumped" feeling afterwards. I'm such a creature of habit... I need to always remind myself: changing things up is GOOD.
So, upperbody has been going pretty well... The wheels... not so much. I've been stuggling with my lower body lately. I've had some lower back issues (which seems to be my nemisis). I ramped back for a bit on the legs, and the back is getting better. It's always a balance there. It's such a fine line between pushing too hard, and pushing too little sometimes. One thing that has helped the legs recently is that I've started doing my cario on the StairMill. If you want a brutal cardio workout that helps your legs grow (and you like pain) try a StairMill workout. It really has added calf definition if nothing else.
The diet has been strong recently. About a month ago, I think I must have completely lost my mind. I was eating a LOT of garbage. Woah! That had stop. I must admit I'm back on the diet soda kick. Sigh. It's like my one vice...
That's all I have... Be strong.